Andrew Gutman wants to prove his quality to Atlanta United

Andrew Gutman is shown playing for Cincinnati in 2020 against Inter Miami in Orlando, Fla.

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Andrew Gutman is shown playing for Cincinnati in 2020 against Inter Miami in Orlando, Fla.

Andrew Gutman has lived the life of a soccer nomad the past few years: Celtic, Cincinnati and then the Red Bulls.

But the fullback is pleased with his current stop: Atlanta United.

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“I think the biggest positive from that is just different environments,” he said Thursday. “You learn a lot of different styles of the game, different personalities, different people. You know, I’ve been overseas, all over America. So everywhere I go, I just try to take little lessons and build it into my game.”

Atlanta United acquired Gutman’s rights in a complex deal that involved Celtic and Cincinnati in 2021, and with George Bello ensconced as the starter at left back, immediately loaned him to the Red Bulls for the season.

“He played against us a few times with Cincinnati, and his size and ability to get up and down the line, his pace and willingness to get into the attack as well as get back and defend, he’s very much the profile of the outside back we like,” Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said in 2021. “Seeing him compete in MLS, knowing his level, that helps a lot when evaluating players.”

With Bello possibly being sold to a club in Europe either in this transfer window or the next, Atlanta United elected not to loan Gutman again.

He looked sharp in Tuesday’s scrimmage as a box-to-box fullback, combining well with Danny Centeno to create attacks.

“Box to box, that suits me a lot,” he said. “I’m very athletic, I’m very direct. I’ve grown up playing like that.”

Manager Gonzalo Pineda complimented Gutman on Tuesday, saying he was very coachable and very professional in their first few training sessions. Gutman said Pineda is teaching him about how to direct his first touch so that he can play the ball appropriately, his movements and the timing of runs.

“Even one or two yards in a different space can make all the difference in the world,” Gutman said. “So every time you speak to me, I’m just trying to take little by little and put it into my team.”

Gutman said that coachability is a result of playing for so many different managers and the need to prove himself time after time. So far, he has succeeded, with 51 appearances for Cincinnati and the Red Bulls with two goals and three assists. He never was able to play for Celtic because of issues related to his work permit.

“I think the biggest asset you can have as a player is to be coachable,” he said. “You always want to be open to learning new things within your game. Gonzalo had a great career. So obviously what he’s saying, he knows what he’s talking about. So I’m always going to listen. It’s a new team again, so I have to prove myself out to show that I’m a quality player and I belong here.”

It will be interesting to see how much playing time Gutman earns if Bello isn’t sold. In addition to those two is Caleb Wiley, signed by the club as Homegrown last week.

Bello has missed most of the first two weeks of training camp because he was with the U.S. men’s national team in its camp. Wiley has missed most of the second week because he was called up by the U.S. Under-20 national team.

Gutman and Mikey Ambrose are the only left backs in camp for its short entirety.

“We’re all competing for one spot,” he said. “We’ve got a young promising Homegrown player that just signed who when he was in camp with us for a little bit, you can tell he has a lot of qualities. He’s going to have a great future. Obviously, George is another fantastic player. So it’s a luxury for the team that who’s playing that position is going to be a great player.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m., FS1

March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

March 13 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FS1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 9 at Charlotte, 3 p.m., ESPN

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs Miami, 4 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

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